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Thelazaruseffect_storyflow

Oddball cast can't resurrect cheap scares in "The Lazarus Effect"

Published March 4, 2015

What's an early year PG-13 horror movie doing with such an overqualified and overall just plain odd cast? Too bad the actual movie itself isn't as surprising or unpredictable as its IMDB page, relying on the same tried and tired horror clich├ęs, tropes and scares for success.

Focusreview_storyflow

Will Smith's "Focus" is a slight but slickly seductive rom-con

Published March 3, 2015

A funny thing - perhaps even a flipped-turned upside down thing - happened on the way to "Focus": The world fell out of love with Will Smith. The fairly small, R-rated con movie was never going to be the blockbuster to bring Smith firmly back up to sure thing box office status. What it does do, however, is quite nicely kill about two hours in sexy, sleek and breezily enjoyable fashion - a kind of Ocean's 6 or 7.

Hottubtimemachine2_storyflow

Comedy sequel "Hot Tub Time Machine 2" winds up all wet

Published Feb. 22, 2015

In movies, time travel typically ends up in the hands of the decent or deserving. "Hot Tube Time Machine 2" proposes ... what if it didn't? What if, instead, it wound up in the depraved hands of a bunch of restrained man-child ids, who then proceeded to violate space, time and everyone and everything they ran into along the way? The answer? Some laughs, I guess. A good amount of silence too. Bags don't come much more mixed than this.

Thespongebobmovie_storyflow

"The SpongeBob Movie": Under the sea, but goofily higher than a kite

Published Feb. 14, 2015

Over 16 years of "SpongeBob SquarePants," the Nickelodeon cartoon's blend of childish giddiness, meta jokes and kooky non sequiturs has landed alongside Fruit Roll-Ups and naps in the middle section of a Venn diagram of things kids and cannabis users can equally love. That's certainly the case with the chatty cleaning device's delightfully wackadoodle second big screen trip, "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water."

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